Lodi (Marble)

In 1874, gold was discovered at the Illionis mine by Alfred Welsh and John Kirkpatrick and on May 14, 1875 the Lodi district was organized. Not long thereafter, a ten-ton smelter was built by William Raymond, of the Raymond & Ely Mining Company in Pioche. A 1,000-foot shaft was also sunk at the Illinois mine. Three more mines, the Los Angeles, Sand Mound, and Downey, were opened by the Argent Mining Company in 1877, and by 1878, Lodi had a general store, blacksmith shop, saloon, boarding house, and a population of over 100.

In 1879, the Argent company hit hard financial troubles, and all of its personal property was auctioned. The company managed to hold onto its mines until 1881, when they too were auctioned. In 1880, after producing $400,000 in ore, the Illinois mine closed. By the end of 1881, 25 claims existed in the Lodi district, but only six men remained to work them. One of these was Alfred Welsh, who in 1887 purchased the old Argent company's holdings (although he would still concentrate on his Illionis mine, which had been the only real producer). Welsh's life was ended in November 1891 when he was shot by his brother over an alleged debt of $16,000. The Illionis became idle, and although it was sold in 1893 to Timothy Phelps, remained idle until the next century.

Beginning in 1905, new discoveries prompted new growth in the Lodi district. Three seperate camps were formed. At the Illinois mine, Marble was established and a post office opened there on March 2, 1906. The next camp, Bob, was created just to the east, and the final camp, Lodivale, was established at Lodi Tanks.

During the first part of the revival, Lodivale grew rapidly as a result of plentiful water, and residents had opened respectable number of saloons and stores. A post office was moved to town from Phonolite on July 23, 1909 (it only lasted until August 25, 1910). Meanwhile, Bob developed a hotel, restaurants, saloons, and a red-light district.

By 1909, miners had worked the Illinois to the 1,060-foot level with over 4,000 feet of drift work and ore was being hauled to the railroad in Luning by the Lodi Mines Company. A handsome new 100-ton smelter was erected in June of that year, but it was abandoned after little more than a month. The cost of hauling ore bankrupted the Lodi Mines Company, and in May 1911 all its properties were sold. The Adaven Mining and Smelting Company took over at that point, and continued to develop the mine until 1914 when the mine hit water and began to flood. In 1915, Adaven sold out to the White Pine Mining Company, which was not successful either, and finally Chauncey Burt (who had owned the Lodi Mines Company) ended up with all his property back. The camps struggled until December 15, 1917, when the Marble post office finally closed.

With the exception of an ill-fated experimental concentrator in 1919, the Lodi district remained fairly quiet until 1921 when the Illinois Nevada Mines Corporation purchased the Illinois mine. Two men working for the company, Hughes and Hatterly, made a gold discovery just south of the mine and production began fairly quickly. A 40-horsepower hoist was installed, and miners worked the higher levels of the mine. The company built a six mile water pipeline from Marble Falls Canyon, supplying the mine with a surplus of water.

The Illinois Nevada Mines Corporation continued to operate the mine until 1928. The last business in the district, the Archibald boarding house at Lodi Tanks, closed in 1929. Except for a brief stint in 1940, the district has remained idle since then. Chauncey Burt retained his faith in the Illinois mine, however, and he remained in Lodi until his death in 1951. His ashes were scattered at his mine, which as of the 1980s still remained in the family. The total production of the Lodi district was $1.3 million.

I Visited Lodi
3.4.2007

See Also
Phonolite

Bibliography